The larger our governments, the greater the competition for their spoils–therefore our divisions.”There simply is so much at stake today. As a result, our governments that benefit so many, employ so many, and tax so widely–in short our governments that pick so many winners and losers–are understandably subject to an intense competition for their control.” So writes author Thomas Del Beccaro in this fascinating study of the history of political unity and division in the US, from the Revolution to the adoption of the Constitution, the Civil War through Reconstruction, The Gilded Age to our present Divided Era.
So President Trump held an unconventional press conference and now is headed to Florida. His detractors are all a flutter.
Here is why Trump is doing it and why he MUST continue to do it. Pls Share this link and note that #5 is key.
1. It should be obvious to anyone watching how entrenched the Washington’s Establishment/Spoils System has become. They are fighting tooth and nail to keep those spoils of power and money. This is not a new phenomenon – history is littered with such examples.
2. Our governments are now 37% of the economy and handing out $6 trillion per year. How did they get so large even though so many Republicans have gone to DC to fix or shrink government? Understanding the answer to that question is key.
3. Part of the answer is that the Major Media drives narratives that result in ever larger government – and I am NOT talking about media bias.
Think of the response to Katrina ($1 billion spent after blaming Bush) v. 2015 Colo. EPA spill (little coverage because Obama was President and therefore no big outcry nor a spending bill). Multiply that over 50 years starting with the growth of TV and the Great Society in the 1960s and you will understand, in part, the explosive growth in government spending since then.
4. Part of the answer as to why reform Republicans have been ineffective is that most Americans don’t know what goes on in DC – they live their lives far from DC and most of what goes on in DC goes unreported. Do you think people really know where $6 trillion is being spent?
5. A big part of the reason reform Republicans fail is that Republicans go to DC to argue with those in DC (Democrats/Media) after getting elected by people in their home districts – instead of keeping the people in their districts, which gave them a majority in Congress, engaged in the process and using that political momentum to help with their reform efforts.
6. To change large government, Republicans have to not let #4 go on and they have to stop arguing almost exclusively with the Washington Post and Harry Reid/Chuck Schumer (#5).
7. Instead, reform Republicans have to CONTINUALLY educate and motivate a sufficient number of voters to keep the pressure on officials for true reform.
8. To do #7, Republicans must go around the Media and get out of DC. PERIOD.
9. I have advocated the above for decades and in The Divided Era – my book.
By the way, what do you think the Left is doing now?
10. Trump is using Rudy Giuliani’s model. When he got elected to Mayor of New York, there were 10 times as many Democrats on the City Council as Republicans. 10 times! Yet Rudy succeeded!
Rudy didn’t just argue in chambers for his policies – surely that would have been a losing strategy. Instead, he held many public events and used press conferences (not to talk to the press) but to speak directly to voters about the problems the city was facing AND to call out who was obstructing him. Rudy used the BULLY PULPIT continuously to break the rotten Establishment hold on New City.
A guy named Teddy Roosevelt did the same.
George Washington went on two very long tours of the Country to unify it after he was elected. The Country was horrifically divided after the Revolution (FAR, FAR MORE than today) and Washington understood what it would take to bring people together.
President James Monroe went on a months long tour as well after he was elected. He ran unopposed for reelection.
The latter two were nearly deified on their trips and the Country was never more unified in purpose or spirit than under their presidencies.
11. Without question, Trump will need to continually talk directly to the America people, in unconventional ways, to keep them on his side. His press conference was directed at the Media in stage craft only – it was really directed at the American people that he needs on his side.
So stop the cynicism. Understand some history. Understand some leadership tactics that worked in the past that broke the status quo. I am not saying Trump is Washington, Monroe or Teddy. Yes he has jagged edges. But, it is time to calm down.
However, that doesn’t mean he can use strategies that worked for them and the Country.
Tom Del Beccaro
Buy The Divided Era here – Amazon Link